Life at the Heralds' Collegium in Haven has definitely improved for Mags. He's even become something of a hero since risking his own life to rescue Amily--daughter of Nikolas, the King's Own Herald--from Karsite kidnappers. But Mags still doesn't know who his parents were, and Bear, Mags' Trainee friend, was not one to let him forget: "You gotta deal with your past Mags, you have to. If you don't, it'll just keep coming back to haunt you, and one day it'll do something to you that you can't get out of."
Mags began his special training as Nikolas' undercover partner and future spy for the crown. Disguised, they work at night in one of the seedier parts of Haven, where Nikolas had set up a false identity as a pawnbroker and fence. Mags poses as his deaf-mute nephew, covertly watching and listening from behind the desk. He was especially good at the trait that had kept him alive as a child laborer in the gem mine--ferreting out hidden motives.
Now Mags has graduated to a new role: Nikolas' partner and information broker. Mags channels his old cunning self from the mines and discovers that he's quite good at his new job. So good, in fact, that Nikolas decides to let him open the shop alone one hot, summer night. Mags has barely unlocked the shop when everything goes black in a blinding flash of pain.
He wakes with an agonizing headache, bound, blindfolded, in a conveyance of some kind. But worst of all, he's head-blind. No Mindspeech--he can't even sense Dallen. And if he can't sense or hear Dallen, then no one can sense him. And if no one can sense him, no one can come to his rescue.
This is a disappointing read. Plotlines brought up in other books are untouched, others are abruptly resolved in ways that are out of character and unrealistic, whole sections are copied from previous books...this book is basically Lackey tossing her hands up and going, "meh, it doesn't matter what I write, they'll buy it anyway." First...Kirball. Jeeez. Enough with it. The marks of Harry Potter are blatant throughout the Mags series (just call Lena "Hermione without the backbone" and be done with it, and I'm waiting for Dallen to say, "You're a Herald, Har--er, Magpie") and it shows horribly with the constant lengthy and boring descriptions of this Quidditch ripoff that add nothing to plot, character or story. Lackey attempted this before with Hurlee in the Alberich tales, and now we're getting multiple books of this nonsense. Bah. Worse, after all the attention that gets paid to Bear's family issues, after Nicholas in the last book tells Mags that he and Bear need to discover what the real issue is to resolve it...we get "treated" (term used sarcastically) to Bear's father frothing at the mouth and going off the deep end. Anger, yes, that would've been in character; so would a shouting match. But the man acting so stupid and insane? When even the other characters in the story are commenting that they don't believe this man could be like this...they're right. Lackey just threw the matter away in the most boring, cliched, and stupid way possible, turning the whole thing into "Father Bad" without ever addressing the underlying emotional issues. Oh, and Lackey? No, Nikolas had absolutely no reason to know about or interfere with Bear and Lena. The two are trainees, and not even Herald Trainees. They're not part of the Court, nor involved in politics. Nikolas trying to claim that he was entitled to the info just makes him come across as an insufferable, entitled, whiny busybody; claiming that the King and royals were somehow effected by two mere trainees getting married...BAH. Pass on this one. It's obvious that Lackey no longer cares about Valdemar.15
I just finished this book and im disappointed. I am left with way more questions than I had before the start of the book. I truly hope that there is another book to bring Mags story to a complete close.45
I love the book and the flow of it. Only concern ending left me with more questions than answers. I wonder if she will visit Mags again.45